Follow Your Own Timeline: No One’s Expectations Matter… Except Your Own! (And even those are subject to change!)

I think that people are groomed to believe we should all follow a very similar timeline – you know the song and dance – go to college, get a job, rent an apartment, get engaged, post obligatory ring picture on Facebook (complete with relationship status update), get married, update relationship status again, buy a house, pop out a few kids, post baby pictures on Facebook, complain about the workweek on Facebook, have fun on the weekends, post pictures on Facebook depicting said fun, rinse, and repeat.  It seems that this has been the tried and true formula for many generations (if you omit the Facebook part), and this general timeline seems to be the accepted and encouraged path for “adults” to take.

There are, of course, acceptable exceptions.   For example, you may substitute an apartment rental for moving back with the folks to save money to buy a house, which can happen before or after an engagement or marriage.   Even though it is ok to live with your parents (as evident by the increasing number of young adults doing so and the lack of judgment placed on them), it is still widely frowned upon to skip the marriage portion of the timeline before you procreate (as evident by the looks on people’s faces when they find out mom and dad are not Mr. and Mrs.).  Also, the dating portion of a relationship should not take up too much space on your timeline, as one must secure a suitable spouse with haste.  In other words, people want to make sure you’re not giving the milk away for free – make sure your partner buys the damn cow, first.

Well, I, for one, am NOT buying this cow pie!  And furthermore, why do people concern themselves so much with other people’s business?  I think the questions, “When are you getting married?” and “When are you going to start a family?” should be outlawed, along with inquiries pertaining to and placing judgment upon anyone’s relationship, family, or choice of career.  It is YOUR life.  No one else has a right to tell you what or when to do things.  Your timeline belongs to you, and it can unfold however you so choose!  My life does not fit the mold of expectations that society often forces upon us.  I used to worry about what people thought, and worse, I allowed other people’s judgments on my life to work their way into my internal monologue, causing me to second guess myself and make choices based on others’ expectations.  As soon as I realized that I have nothing to prove to anyone, I started my metamorphosis, shedding the layers of my life I was unhappy with.  I’m now on an ongoing journey that is the pursuit of fulfilling my destiny.  It is amazing.  It is frustrating.  It is an emotional, thrilling, and slightly terrifying adventure that I can’t believe I was missing out on not that long ago.



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